Friday 15 February 2019

Doheny backs himself to dethrone 'beatable' champ

TJ Doheny
TJ Doheny

Bernard O'Neill

Ireland's TJ Doheny insists that he'll be driving home in his Ferrari 458 Spider tomorrow night with the world title belt by his side.

The defending champion Ryosuke Iwasa will put his IBF super-bantam title on the line when he takes on Doheny, who is unbeaten in 19 fights as a pro, in an all-southpaw clash in Tokyo.

The Sydney-based Laois fighter meets Iwasa, who was presented with a Ferrari by his sponsor after he won the IBF belt last year, two days before Luke Jackson fights in Belfast.

Jackson, who boxes out of Doheny's MJA Platinum stable in Australia, faces Carl Frampton, whom Doheny beat in the 2006 Irish Elite semi-final, for Frampton's interim WBO feather title at Windsor Park.

Iwasa is expecting a war of attrition over 12 rounds and admitted that he has had problems with southpaws in the past.

"I will be able to demonstrate my worth as a world champion. Both of my losses have been to southpaws, so that is my Achilles heel," he said.

The 28-year-old has won 25 of his 27 fights and has a 59 per cent KO ratio after 158 rounds of prize-fighting as opposed to 31-year-old Doheny's 19 wins and 74 per cent KO ratio after 97 rounds since switching codes after moving to Australia in 2012.

The Portlaoise lefty is confident that he'll emulate his former Irish team-mates Katie Taylor and Ryan Burnett and become a world pro champion. "I really expect to smash the title from him. I do see he's got a lot of holes, but he's not world champion for nothing. He's a very beatable opponent," he said.

Meanwhile, Tyson Fury has vowed to make "Italian sausages" out of his German rival Francesco Pianeta or kiss his feet after their Windsor Park showdown on Saturday.

"If he chins me, I'll crawl on my knees and kiss his two feet because he's obviously a better man than me and a better man that I have ever been," said Fury. "I'm going to smash him to pieces, make Italian sausage out of him," added Fury, who has lost 10 stone since coming out of retirement 12 months ago, having ballooned to 28 stone.

"I want to win a world title again. The old Tyson Fury is gone. I'm not looking to live in the past. I'm looking to go on and improve on what I am today and tomorrow."

Irish Independent

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